Should The Average Person Be Worried About A Cyber War?

You hear about it on the news all of the time.

There is a great cyber war coming so everyone must be prepared!

The hackers will be able to take over the world just by a few clicks of their keyboard buttons!

All of your data is at risk and they will be able to take all of your money!

You hear about this all of the time but a lot of it is just hype.

A cyber war is not as likely as you may think

There are security threats out there but there has been some overestimation by the government and the media of just how bad it really is.

Yes, there are cyber wars that can happen – we saw an example of a small one between Russia and the republic of Georgia.

But the cyber war that you see on your nightly news is quite different to the one that you would see in real life.

In this article I will go over the hype about some of the news that you have heard and talk to you about what could really happen.

How Would A Cyber War Affect You Personally?

Everyday there are hackers trying to get into your national digital infrastructure but let’s say, for example, that they succeed.

If it is a small scale attack there is a good chance that you would not even notice.

There would be an outage of a couple of your favorite web sites and maybe your bank web site wouldn’t work but that would be about it.

In a large scale attack they might be able to affect sections that are vital such as the power grid but it would not be a wide scale blackout.

Unlike the movies, in real life all things are not connected to same network so it is almost impossible to affect everything at the same time.

You would have to hack several networks and be so sneaky that no-one in all of those networks noticed.

It is possible, maybe, but the chances of it happening are very, very remote.

The creators of our infrastructure might leave tiny holes that are able to be exploited but no-one is crazy enough to hook the entire infrastructure to one network and then to a public facing network like the internet.

Who Would A Cyber War Affect?

Most likely the affects would be against major web sites, including government and private ones.

As I said earlier, the likes of Google, Ebay, the whitehouse, and other alluring targets such as that could be the first to be targeted.

If they were able to hit somewhere vital then it would be one section of the power grid and not the whole thing for the reasons stated earlier.

Even Wall Street could be affected and the Dow would take a big drop for that one day but the effects would not be long-term.

The term cyber war can be scary and it could cost us but it is not a doomsday scenario.

We just do not have enough technology hooked to the same network that a person or government would be able to attack it all simultaneously without someone noticing.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. I usually get a laugh at all the hype about a cyberwar. All the talk about it usually comes from people with little knowledge of just how the www is set up, where the main computers are an who controls them. They also have no clue how parts of it can be shut down, or how long it would take to do it.
    The biggest threat would be to countries that depend on computers for military ops and other goverment functions.

    • I am, perhaps, a bit more cynical in that I think the media makes cyber war out to be far more threatening than it really is in order to sell newspapers and the like.

      Sensational stories sell more than the alternatives do.

      • Of course they have to build the story up to sell it. Rather than just reporting the news an the truth they build it up, blow it out of shape, throw in a little untruths an it sells better.

Trackbacks

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